James Haskell

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England Rugby Player

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One of England’s best back-row players, James has played top level club and international rugby all over the world. As well as being a Six Nations winner he has off-the-field interests stretching from a coffee brand to a health and fitness business. He considers his lessons in dealing with pressure, setting goals and getting the best from yourself and your team.


Over a 16-year playing career James Haskell represented England, and in Wasps and Northampton Saints, two of the most successful teams in club rugby. As well as a career on the pitch in which he was a key part of Six Nations and Premiership winning teams, he’s also developed a profile off the pitch, in the media, and also as a health and fitness expert.

As a player James rose through the England ranks of U18s, U21s and seniors, amassing over 75 international caps as well as playing for the Sevens team. At club level he made his Premiership debut aged just 17 for Wasps, and in doing so became the youngest player ever at the top level of club rugby. After 73 caps, four championship titles and two Heineken Cups, James moved to France and Stade Francais. He spent two seasons in Paris before returning to Wasps. He also played for clubs in Japan and New Zealand along the way before spending his final seasons before retirement back at Wasps and then Saints.

James has also established himself in the media, appearing on I'm a Celebrity and taking up commentary and punditry on both radio and TV and in print. His business interests have stretched from a coffee brand to clothing and a fitness and training company. In this latter area he’s published books including Perfect Fit and Cooking for Fitness, developed a website and app, a diet supplement brand and fitness courses.

In speeches James reflects on his lessons of dealing with the pressure to perform and getting the best from the team around you. He also looks at the various types of pressure, from the expectation of peers to social media. He considers both the positive power and the potential negative effects of honest feedback and communication. He also explores how to overcome challenges both personal and professional, and how to achieve the goals you set for yourself. As well as relating these lessons from the pitch and dressing room to the workplace, he also looks at their role in health, fitness and wellbeing.

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